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Talking Points

Hearing Aids: The Key To Better Hearing Acuity

Doctor attaching a hearing aid to an elderly woman's ear

Do you experience increasing difficulty understanding verbal instructions? Perhaps your hearing trouble impedes social communication and language?

If you are experiencing difficulty in hearing spoken words, this may be an early sign of structural hearing impairment. Auditory processing tests are necessary to pinpoint the location and severity of damage in the ear. Thus, it is important to find a doctor who can provide the necessary treatment to inhibit deterioration of auditory structures.

Otoscopic Examination

Otoscopy refers to a detailed examination of the ear anatomy to detect the underlying pathology. In most cases, gross examination is insufficient in localizing the impaired structure of the ear. Hence, an otoscope provides a clear view of the ear canal structures and eardrum, which are often affected in cases of hearing loss.

Hearing Aids

A hearing aid is a device that is used to improve transmission of sound to the ear. Although these tools do not restore normal hearing, they are utilized to enhance sound intensity until it reaches the auditory threshold. The auditory center of the brain then receives the signal and processes the sound for interpretation.

Types of Hearing Aids

Hearing devices are usually customized according to your aesthetic preferences as well as the degree of auditory cell loss. Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) is recommended among patients who prefer least visible attachment to the ear. Since these have the smallest size, they usually lack volume control and microphone regulation. In-the-canal (ITC) hearing devices are slightly larger than CIC, and are preferred for moderate hearing loss. Behind-the-ear (BTE) is the largest type which is customized according to how it fits the ear canal. It is appropriate for any type of hearing loss but has a visible size. Hearing aids in Minneapolis are available in a range of types, depending on the specific needs of the user.

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The Bottom Line

Hearing loss may be caused by the temporary action of medications, partial ear trauma, or long-term damage to structures of the auditory pathway. At the earliest symptoms of hearing impairment, it is crucial to visit an ear specialist right away and if need be, to get a hearing aid that matches your perfectly.

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